Drought a big concern heading into winter

Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins says hay supplies are a concern for the state’s cattle producers.

“It was a perfect storm of high fertilizer costs impacting people’s ability to apply and how much, if at all. We knew production would be down. Then, you put in place drought conditions that further diminished production as well as the quality of hay.”

Hawkins tells Brownfield there are more culled cattle going to market.

“We’ve seen those drought conditions out west work their way east and here we are. We also need more runoff for farm ponds. Water is an issue and I’ve heard some of our members culling more, not necessarily because of a lack of forage, but a lack of water.”

The Livestock Forage Program sign-up is available, but Hawkins says there’s a backlog of farmers not able to get into the office. The farm bureau leader also says the drought combined with rising input costs makes this a tough time for Missouri producers.

“When people talk about they’re still trying to figure out if they can pencil out a profit this year, that’s the reality. It’s a tough time and it will weigh on our minds as we go into this farm bill year.”

Hear the interview.

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